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The ‘Stros are the reigning World Series Champions and the Rockets have the number one seed in the NBA playoffs. When the Rockets won their first NBA title in 1994, how did the ‘Stros fare later that year?

A poll release yesterday created a bit of a buzz yesterday in Texas politics. Here is from R.G.:

The good news for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in a just released Quinnipiac University poll is that Texans like him and believe he would be best able to handle issues such as the economy, taxes, and gun policy—plus more than half the state voters surveyed lack enough information to have an opinion about Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. The bad news for Cruz: O’Rourke is in a statistical tie with Cruz in the election.

Much of the survey results are a reflection of the nation’s polarized politics at the moment. The survey found Cruz leading O’Rourke by 47 percent to 44 percent, a tie in a survey with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Although O’Rourke is not well known among the state’s voters, he begins the general election campaign sitting at the level of a generic Democrat.

As might be expected, the lion’s share of the Republican and Democratic voters surveyed support the candidate of their party. What should be troubling for Cruz is that more than half of the independent voters surveyed support O’Rourke—and more than half of the independents have an unfavorable view of Cruz. And most independents do not believe Cruz is honest.

Cruz holds a substantial lead among white voters and those over the age of 50. O’Rourke has a substantial lead among blacks and Hispanics and voters in the 18-to-34-year-old group. The two candidates are in another statistical tie among voters between the ages of 35 and 49.

Here is all of R.G.’s article: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/beto-orourke-nipping-ted-cruz/.

Here is from the poll statement:

White voters back Cruz 59 – 34 percent, as O’Rourke leads 78 – 18 percent among black voters and 51 – 33 percent among Hispanic voters.

Then the Chron Editorial Page Editor tweeted this:

Evan 20XX‏ @evan7257 18h18 hours ago 

Evan 20XX Retweeted Kyle Griffin

The cross tabs on this do a good job of explaining why Texas Democrats can’t win an election

I guess maybe he is talking about the 51-33 lead among Latino voters. One would think that with the GOP’s war against Mexico and Latino immigrants that the spread would be bigger, right? And now the “breeding concept” racist sh_t. What do you do?

I’ve seen numbers like these before. They don’t play out on Election Day though. I am thinking a 3-1 Dem edge on Election Day. Still, the Democratic Party and the O’Rourke Campaign would be wise to get together with Latino political consultants with experience dealing with turning Latino voters out with success in other states.

We will see.

My MLB question wasn’t a trick question but the ‘Stros ended 1994 with a 66-49 record and a half game out in the NL Central in the strike shortened season of course.

We are now 12-7 and it looks like the bats may be waking up.

 

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There is no MLB question today.

I was at my Dad’s a few days ago when news broke on CNN about Barbara Bush’s medical condition. I told my 94-year old Dad about her condition and his reaction was to say the least, interesting.

What is also interesting is what Texas Monthly’s Mimi Swartz has to say on Barbara Bush. It is a very good take by Mimi that you should read. Here is the headline and here is how it starts:

Barbara Bush Had a Good Life But a Hard One

As I have aged and faced my own challenges as a woman on this planet, I have come to a different understanding of Barbara Bush.

By Mimi Swartz

I admit that it took me a long time to come around to Barbara Bush. In my younger days, when she was just the wife of one president and not yet the mother of another, I kept a running tally of her sins.

Go read it here: https://www.texasmonthly.com/opinion/barbara-bush-good-life-hard-one/.

I was amused last night when I found out Barbara Bush was pretty good at keeping score. Commentary is talking about keeping score at ‘Stros games. Commentary learned how to keep score like during my little league years. During high school, I had a part time job keeping score at little league games. Everyone has their own way of keeping score. One thing is for sure, when you keep score you have to be paying attention to what is going on in the ballgame. Here is part of the Chron story on Barbara Bush’s scorecard:

Former First Lady Barbara Bush wasn’t just a regular behind home plate at Astros games, she was so into the games, she often kept score.

Barbara Bush attended lots of Astros game alongside her husband George Herbert Walker Bush, and although many people talked about her diligent keeping of a scorebook during games, she rarely let anyone photograph the book. She did however leave one of her autographed scoresheets from a 2006 game with the Astros. Team historian Mike Acosta tweeted out the scorecard Tuesday.

And this:

“Not many people know how to score a baseball game,” George H.W. Bush bragged in the book Barbara Bush: Matriarch of a Dynasty.

Commentary looked at the scorecard Acosta posted. She is pretty good in my scorebook.

Don’t worry. Commentary is not going to talk about her keeping score in politics, but I would bet that she was probably pretty good, don’t you think?

A couple of weeks ago Commentary said this about sending troops to the border:

It is a pretty expensive photo-op if you ask Commentary.

I love it when the Chron E-Board agrees. Here the start of their take today:

It’s no surprise that the Trump administration’s directive to send the National Guard to the border appears to have been done with little planning, despite the costs and risks associated with the mission.

In recent days, administration officials and supporters have explained little about what the Guard hopes to accomplish during its mission. A mobilization order signed by Defense Secretary James Mattis approved the deployment of 4,000 Guard members, but didn’t define any explicit goals.

Gov. Greg Abbott, the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard, went to Weslaco on Thursday for a glorified photo op with the Guard. The governor’s press release ahead of the visit even noted that his briefing with Guard leaders would be good for TV b-roll.

Abbott, of course, has experience with ill-defined border security missions, having pushed through $800 million expenditures in each of the last two bienniums without ever telling Texans what they were getting for the money.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/A-continuing-border-blunder-could-waste-billions-12842708.php.

“Glorified photo op” is the same as “expensive photo op.”   You are welcome.

It is good to see Andrew White do this. Here is from the Chron:

AUSTIN — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew White on Wednesday will announce he would declare “a state of emergency” for education if elected, as part of plans to increase teacher pay and improve student achievement without raising taxes, campaign sources confirmed Tuesday evening.

“Education is top of mind for Texas voters. It will be Andrew White’s signature issue as governor,” said a briefing document outlining the Wednesday announcement in Austin.

“He will declare a state of emergency for Texas education, which ranks 40th in the nation. He will lay the blame with Governor Abbott.”

Here is the Chron article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Andrew-White-to-declare-education-emergency-12842561.php?src=hp_totn.

Let’s not forget what his Dad did on education. Gov. White certainly paid the price.

The ‘Stros won last night and Evan Gattis went 2 for 3 and is now above the Mendoza Line.

Finalist

The ‘Stros are 10-7. How many position players are hitting below the Mendoza Line?

Commentary was watching  a former law enforcement type on CNN yesterday talking about the former FBI Director and his book.  The law enforcement type said the former Director should have taken the “high road” and not taken shots at Donald Trump.  Nope!  When Trump goes after you in a personal way, you have to hit back and hit back hard.

This is from the Pulitzer Prize website:

In the Breaking News Reporting category.

Finalist: Staff of Houston Chronicle

For comprehensive and dynamic coverage of Hurricane Harvey that captured real-time developments of the unprecedented scale of the disaster and provided crucial information to its community during the storm and its aftermath.

Commentary doesn’t know what it takes to win a Pulitzer. If not Harvey, what then?

I am sure folks saw this yesterday:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed State Representative Carol Alvarado for Texas State Senate, District 6.

“State Representative Carol Alvarado is a proven leader for Houstonians. As a State Senator, she will help lead the fight for women’s reproductive rights, public education funding, LGBTQ equality, and health care for everyone,” said Geri Prado, senior director of state and local campaigns at EMILY’s List. “We are proud to stand with Carol in her campaign for Texas State Senate.”

“I am honored to receive the EMILY’s List endorsement. I am also proud of the effective leadership I have provided in the Texas legislative arena. Over the next few month, I will continue to engage the voters of Senate District 6 and build a winning campaign” said Alvarado.

Carol is an advocate for women’s health and reproductive rights. She has passed legislation to assist victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. She has also authored numerous bills aimed at improving the health care of our children including legislation that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. In 2015, Rep. Alvarado authored and passed landmark historic Grand Jury Reform legislation. She serves as Chair of the Urban Affairs Committee and is a member of the Higher Education Committee and the Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse.

Well deserved. Carol’s credentials speak for themselves.

It is pretty obvious who Gov. Greg Abbott wants to face this November. Check this from the Tribune:

In an interview after a Tea Party meeting here, Abbott offered his most extensive comments on Valdez’s candidacy yet, saying he and she “have been locked in a battle for an aspect of Texas ideology” that goes back to their clash three years ago over her department’s policy on compliance with federal immigration authorities. Like he did in a tweet earlier this month — when he broke his silence on Valdez’s campaign — Abbott treated her as the Democratic nominee Monday, despite the fact she is in a May 22 runoff against Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White.

“It’s clear that she’s not only obviously the frontrunner and had the most votes in the initial go-around, but it’s our analysis that she’ll be the nominee,” Abbott said. “And so every time she comes out and starts talking about ways that are antagonistic to the Texas perspective on making sure that we ban sanctuary cities, secure our border, I’m going to challenge her on it.”

Valdez opposes the state’s ban on “sanctuary cities” that Abbott signed into law last year, looking to punish local officials who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. She has also been critical of his decision to heed the call of President Donald Trump and send hundreds of National Guard troops to the border earlier this month — criticism that prompted Abbott’s April 4 tweet declaring her his November opponent. 

Here is the entire article: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/17/texas-gov-greg-abbott-vows-challenge-lupe-valdez-border-issues/.

I guess Abbott thinks he would do better against Valdez. I don’t know. Commentary has never met Valdez or seen her in person or heard her speak.

The ‘Stros sent this out yesterday:

All fans attending the Astros game on Wednesday, June 20th will receive a Replica World Champions Ring, presented by Coca-Cola, upon entering the gates. So, come out to Minute Maid Park, cheer on the Astros as they take on the Rays and go home with some shiny new bling!

The game could very well be a sellout.

Four ‘Stros hitters are batting below the Mendoza Line: Evan Gattis at .184, Marwin at .164, Marisnick at .146, and Derek Fisher at .143 of course.

And that my friend is why we are 10-7. It ain’t our pitching.

I would not be surprised if Fisher was sent down.

Pulitzer Prize?

MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day yesterday. When did Jackie Robinson leave us?

I watched the former FBI Director interview last night while the ‘Stros game was on in the other room.

These lines from last night’s interview have some punch, don’t you think? Here:

“Truth is not a high value.”

“(Donald Trump) does not reflect the values of this country.”

This is where we are. How many discussions are going on in the world right now about the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue peeing on a prostitute and vice versa? Tell that to your kids.

All in all, the former Director was believable last night but boy, he does need to sharpen his political skills.

Today, the Pulitzer Prizes will be announced. Commentary has not talked to anyone at the Chron lately, but if they submitted an entry, you have to think they have a good shot at bringing home the Pulitzer for their outstanding Harvey coverage followed by the ‘Stros’ historic run.

I wonder if they ordered a few cases of bubbly just in case. It will be well deserved.

This Op-Ed was in yesterday’s Chron. This is the online headline:

Face the facts: Beto will lose [Opinion]

by Roy R. Reynolds

April 15, 2018

I have now read the Op-Ed three times and there is not one single “fact” laid out to back up this fella’s claim, even a fact I might disagree with. Go check it out yourself if you don’t believe me. It must have been a very slow day for Op-Ed submissions. Check it out here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Face-the-facts-Beto-will-lose-Opinion-12834647.php.

Now this is a fact, folks:

Aaron Stough liked

Beto O’Rourke‏Verified account @BetoORourke 53m53 minutes ago

NBC wanted to know how we continue outraising Ted Cruz without taking a dime from PACs, corporations, or special interests. It’s the power of people.

The great Jackie Robinson had a heart attack and left us on October 24, 1972 at the age of 53.  No of course on this one.

Last season, after 16 games, we were 11-5. We are 10-6 today. You can’t fault our starting pitchers. The bats need to wake up. The hitters need to stop looking at their rings and start looking at the pitches, please!

 

Get ‘Em, Jerry!

My friend Jerry Flores was in a freak accident yesterday and he is in critical condition this morning.

Jerry is one of our community’s leaders and a HPD officer.   He is beloved and respected. He is one with that unique personality that makes everyone around him feel better – it’s special.

Whatever you have – prayers, best wishes, positive energy – send them to Jerry this morning.

Jerry also works security for the ‘Stros and MLB. I see him at The Yard all the time. Jerry traveled with the team during their historic playoff and World Series run last fall. Jerry got a ring last week.

Get ‘Em, Jerry!

Mexican

Name the MLB club that has produced the most Cy Young Award winners?

Donald Trump will be in H-Town on May 14. Good! It is good for the base!

We all know the Donald Trump and Trump wannabe definition of Mexican: rapists, murderers and drug dealers. They look down on Mexicans and have no respect for Mexico and its people.  There is a racism factor involved.

Mine is 180 degrees from theirs. Mine is based on admiration, respect, love, hard work, family, blood and history. I am Mexican. And proud. I have family there. My four grandparents were born there.

UH’s Raul Ramos has a guest column on Mexico today in Burkablog and here is how it starts:

I admit to taking it personally last week when President Donald Trump announced that he was ordering the American military to fortify the border with Mexico. After all, I am someone with family on both sides of the border. By contrast, my Mexican cousins in the business world hardly seemed fazed by Trump’s move. That’s because a decade earlier, they had begun shifting their business contacts away from the United States and toward China and the Middle East.

Here is the entire Ramos column: https://www.texasmonthly.com/opinion/american-troops-mexican-politics-underestimating-neighbor/.

You need to read this column. Good for Mexico.

Commentary has absolutely no respect for this phony.   Totally spineless.  I am talking about Paul Ryan.

Here is headline from a Politico story today:

The tragedy of Paul Ryan

He began as a Jack kemp conservative.

He ended as Donald Trump’s man on Capitol Hill.

This is from Rick Wilson in Daily Beast today:

Ryan owns his share of the blame; too often, he behaved as if he was some deferential junior VP at a Trump resort and not the leader of the House of Representatives in a co-equal branch of government. The idea, popular among the House leadership, that a diet of ass-kissing and deference would make Trump into a normal president who didn’t need the political equivalent of Depends was always a strategic mistake.

Ryan is now paying the price. The rest of his caucus will pay in the fall.

Saying he is “Trump’s man” is too generous.  More like Trump’s sap.

The sooner Ryan is off the stage, the better. What a phony and a chump.

Dodger pitchers of course have won the Cy Young Award 12 times.

Bregman’s bat came alive yesterday. We still lost in walk-off fashion. Stuff happens.

Scary and Scared

The Yankees have the most MVP winners with 22. Name the MLB club the second most MVP winners?

The Chron E-Board today has a take on the HISD Board of Education. In the take, the E-Board mentions that changes ought to be made including how we elect Trustees. Here is part of the take:

One significant change that Houston ISD should consider is changing the way it elects school board members. Currently, the nine trustees are elected from single-member districts, rather than by voters from throughout the school district.

Texas law allows a couple of alternatives. One would be a board made up of a mix of single-member and at-large trustees. This is similar to how Houston’s City Council is elected. Sixty smaller school districts across Texas use this governance system, according to the Texas Association of School Boards.

Another alternative would be to switch to cumulative voting, where voters across the school district would be allowed to cast as many votes as there are candidates. This option has been available to Texas school districts since 1995 and is used by a number of smaller school districts for at-large trustee elections.

Changing the governance model could help address one of the biggest challenges facing the school board: Members are concerned about struggling campuses in their own electoral district, but not necessarily in the districts of other trustees.

Single-member districts have played a major role in assuring more diversity on school boards. They help ensure that multiple voices are heard in the development of education policy. But they also can result in a balkanized school district, with trustees focused on their individual parts rather than the whole.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Rethink-how-voters-elect-the-HISD-board-12823317.php.

I don’t know about this. How many Latinos or Latinas are in At-Large positions on the H-Town City Council right now? I think Orlando Sanchez was the last one we elected/reelected in 1999.   Of course, whose fault is that? Mine? Yours? The local Latino and Latina leadership?

If we are going to have a discussion on this, make sure everyone is included in this discussion. Stay tuned!

The scariest thing I heard on the flat screen yesterday was CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin saying that if Donald Trump were to fire the Deputy AG and the Special Counsel, it would be met by a shrug from GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio would issue a blah, blah, blah statement. It got me to thinking. The GOP congressional leadership wouldn’t do a darn thing other than fake some outrage. That would be the end of the investigation as far they would be concerned. Think about it? Name one GOP congressman from the H-Town area who would be genuinely outraged? You can’t.

Don’t be surprised if Trump fires the Deputy AG and Special Counsel. He knows by now the GOP Congressional leadership would give him a pass. Think about it.  Why haven’t they passed a law protecting the Special Counsel?  As I write this, word is Speaker Ryan won’t seek reelection.  Get ready!

Donald Trump is chickening out of going to the Summit of the Americas. It doesn’t surprise Commentary. He is sending Mike Pence instead.

You know the bully type. He talks sh_t, but when he realizes he is going to be in a   room full of Latin American leaders, some from sh_thole countries, he finds the first excuse to high tail it. That’s strong leadership for you. Gutless. Here is from an NBC News story:

“The vice president in no way is a credible substitute,” said Richard Feinberg, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor at the University of California, San Diego. He is in Lima to attend what will be his seventh summit. “Coward,” he said, referring to Trat if Doanldmp.

Although official delegations have yet to arrive, members of Peru’s civil sector and average Peruvians are speculating Trump fears he would be poorly received by many Latin American delegations that dislike his “anti-immigrant, anti-trade, anti-democracy postures,” said Feinberg.

“The absence of Trump confirms his lack of interest in Latin America,” said Carmelo Mesa-Lago, professor emeritus of economics and Latin American studies at the University of Pittsburg, who said he is not convinced Trump cancelled the trip in order to evaluate the ongoing crisis in Syria.

He said Trump would have had to confront criticism from Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua -which all have leftist governments – and their solidarity with Venezuela. The Trump administration has sanctioned numerous Venezuelan officials, banned U.S. citizens from using their new cryptocurrency, and are looking into oil sanctions.

Here is the entire story: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trumps-canceled-trip-to-summit-of-the-americas-sparks-harsh-criticism/ar-AAvJt3c.

He got intimidated pure and simple by folks of color.

Don’t tell me Hunker Down is scared. Come on! This if from Lina Hidalgo, the Dem nominee for Harris County Judge:

This question comes up at least once a week. This past Saturday, after we joined students at their Town Hall on gun safety, several people asked the question.

The Town Hall touched not just on the topic at hand but also on healthcare access, on flooding, and on education – all issues I believe should be addressed with voters before November.

As I wrote yesterday in a letter to our Republican County Judge, “It is with these young people’s enthusiasm and passion for civic engagement in mind that I write to invite you to engage in a series of debates with me leading up to the November 2018 election. In monthly debates that are open to the public, you and I would perform a great service for Harris County voters as we explore our approaches to issues including flood planning, gun safety, and criminal justice.”

We have already identified several partners across Harris County ready to moderate, host and report our debates – I’ve proposed a monthly debate between now and the November election.

At some point, Hunker Down has got to acknowledge he’s facing a challenge from a young Latina and there is nothing wrong with that.

This from the Chron:

Former Texans receiver Andre Johnson said he nearly skipped the Ring of Honor ceremony the team had for him in November because of controversial comments made by team owner Bob McNair, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver said on former teammate Arian Foster’s podcast “Now What? With Arian Foster.”

And this:

“I wouldn’t say it surprised me, but I just didn’t like it,” Johnson said. “To know you did so much for a franchise and to have him come out and say something like that.

“At the end of the day, you don’t make the money if we don’t run it. If you take some people off the street and put them in there, nobody’s coming to watch that. It was real touchy with me. I even thought about not doing the ring ceremony.”

Foster said he skipped Johnson’s special day, because of McNair’s comments.

“I planned on going and on the day of, I was like ‘I can’t look at (McNair) in the face,'” Foster told Johnson. “Because I’m not going to shake his hand and I wasn’t going to pretend like I wanted to shake his hand.”

Here is the entire read: https://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Andre-Johnson-skipped-Texans-Ring-of-Honor-McNair-12821422.php.

He’s not getting a statue.

San Luis of course is number 2 on the MLB list with 17 MVP winners.

We are 9-3 and six of our last night’s starters were hitting below the Mendoza Line.